I’m Learning: What My First Semester of College Taught Me

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September first marked the day I began the journey called college. I became an early childhood education major. An adult. Sort of. And it just hit me that I survived my first semester of college. I feel so wise already. And being the kind woman that I am, I’ve decided to share all of my wisdom with you.

Just kidding. I’m not wise. But I’m kind. And I’ve learned a few things I want to share with you:

I am not perfect.
I walked into college believing that it would be a smooth transition. That I’d get things figured out quickly. That I’d make friends soon. And for the most part, it wasn’t too bad. But when two weeks had passed and I still didn’t have an acquaintance I felt comfortable enough to spend time with, I felt awful. I began thinking bad things about myself. I thought I’d never have a good friend. I thought I’d always be alone. I felt unlovable. I hated myself when my college experience wasn’t going the way I wanted. And I’d forgotten that I’m not perfect. That I need to give myself a break. That if I hold myself to a standard of perfection, I’ll undoubtedly fail. There is never too much grace. Grace yourself.

But naps are.
Oh, why did I ever stop taking naps? Naps are beautiful. Naps are lifesavers. Naps are gifts from heaven. Naps make sorrows go away. I hope there are naps in heaven. I want to write a poem about naps.

Making time for intimacy with God is important.
This is serious. Taking classes and homework and making new friends and stressing over tests are going to take up a lot of your time. And before you know it, you forget to do your devotions or to pray, and where did Jesus go? It’s important to carve out time for Christ. To make time every day to speak to him. To spill your guts. To tell him everything. To read God’s word. It’s important to take extra special care of this relationship.

Making time for myself is important, too.
Life is so beautiful when your nails are done. And when your make-up is on point. And when you buy a dulce de leche + chocolate milkshake. And when you buy yourself flowers. And wear your prettiest blouse. Doing these things can seem trivial or superficial, but doing them matters oh-so-much. Choosing to love yourself is important. It’s going to change how you feel about your circumstances and about you. You deserve love. Especially from yourself.

I need to learn how to drive.
Taking a taxi every day is expensive. Very.

Being bold is beautiful.
I had gone to the same school for most of my life. I was always around the same people. I was bullied. I was tricked into believing that I’d be better off quiet. Living in fear of listening to my own voice. I spent most of my middle and high school years living under a skin that wasn’t mine, hiding and never showing my true self. My classmates didn’t know I wrote poetry, that I had a blog, that I could sing. And when I entered college, I realized I was given a blank slate. And I decorated that slate with lots of doodles and words that screamed my true colors. I shared my poetry. I shared my beliefs. I shared my voice. I was brave, and my bravery was accepted. I felt confident to share my true self. And y’all, that’s huge. And beautiful. Be bold.

I have to keep choosing people.
I am an introvert. And I’m a shy one, too. And when I meet people, I want to run and hide. But I have to keep pursuing people. Because we aren’t meant to be alone. We’re not islands. We need hugs and kisses on our cheeks. We need to make each other laugh and give each other a shoulder to lean on. We can’t keep our feelings bottled up. We need to share our hearts. And we can’t do that on our own.

Math is not my thing.
It never was and it will never be my thing. I’ve come to terms with it.

Sharing our story matters.
In one psychology class, my teacher made my classmates and I share childhood events that had caused traumas or left impressions in us. All of my classmates shared things about themselves that made me see them in a different light and appreciate who they were. Share your story. Because it’s a part of you. Because it matters. Because it can change others.

Girls talk. A lot.
A classroom filled with 35+ female education majors and only one guy can be very, very loud.

I am not alone.
I am surrounded by people with dreams and stories similar to mine. People who come from the same place I come from, people who are walking the same walk I’m walking. People who are worth just as much as I am. People struggling with the same things I struggle with. People who are waiting for me to open up to them. I am not alone. And more importantly, there is Someone always by my side, always walking with me and guiding me and reminding me that I am more than my bad days and bad grades. Telling me that I am precious and valued and loved. I am not alone. I will never be alone.

I’m learning.
I am learning to be brave. I am learning to be unafraid. I am learning to share my soul. I am learning that it’s okay to be broken. I am learning that my brokenness still makes me worthy of love and acceptance. I am learning that my brokenness is no obstacle for God to use me for his glory. That light can shine through my cracks. I am learning that beauty will come out from my brokenness. That one day I won’t be broken. That God’s grace is sufficient for me. That it’s fine to boast my weaknesses, because that’s where his power is made perfect.

I am learning what my passions are. I’m learning what makes me come alive, what makes my heart beat. I’m learning that this journey has lots to teach me. I’m learning that this journey is going to change me. I’m learning that my story is powerful. I’m learning that I’ll always be learning. I’m learning that in this journey I’ll never be alone…I’m learning.

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12 thoughts on “I’m Learning: What My First Semester of College Taught Me

  1. marsdenmom says:

    Sounds like you’re on track for a great college experience! Blessings to you as you continue to walk into all the plans the Lord has for you!

    Like

  2. Katie says:

    Hang in there girl! I had the same issue with friends/introversion in college. And then after my freshman year I transferred schools. And continued to have the same issues. And looking back, even though I once lived in a house with 5 other girls, I wouldn’t say that I really have any “college friends”. But it’s ok. It was a tough time for me. And I’ve spent 4 years trying to get over the lack of friendships I’ve made. And despite the tears I’ve shed over the years about it, I’m finally ok with it.
    I found you via the #fireworkpeople Facebook group. Knowing you’re in there, I know you’re up to amazing things. Know that you have a community of people behind you. I’d love to get to know you so feel free to reach out to me too! 🙂 Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gabycompres says:

      Aw, Katie! Thank you for all your encouragement, I appreciate it so much!! It really means a lot to me 🙂 College has been a great experience so far and I can’t wait to see what’ll happen in the next few years. And yay for #fireworkpeople! It’s the most wonderful community. So glad you’re a part of it 🙂

      Like

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